Rally seeks restoration of Internet services in Darjeeling

first_imgActivists of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and other hill parties on Thursday held a demonstration outside the district magistrate’s office in Darjeeling, demanding the restoration of Internet services, which reain suspended for the past 32 days.There were no incidents of violence or arson since Wednesday night as the indefinite shutdown in the hills entered the 36th day on Thursday.Some political activists dressed in traditional Nepali attire took out rallies in the morning.Police and security forces patrolled the streets and kept a tight vigil at every entry and exit points.All shops, restaurants, hotels, schools and colleges remained closed but pharmacies were open.last_img read more

₹2,100-crore bonus for Chhattisgarh’s farmers

first_imgChhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Thursday announced a bonus of ₹2,100 crore to paddy farmers of the State. The Opposition termed the decision an “election ploy”.Mr. Singh said, “The Prime Minister asked me to immediately disburse the bonus for last year before Diwali. Next year’s bonus will also be disbursed on time. Thirteen lakh farmers will be benefited.”The State BJP government has been facing criticism from the Opposition for its failure to disburse the bonus to paddy farmers since it was elected to power for the third consecutive time in 2013. Chhattisgarh Congress president Bhupesh Baghel said, “The government didn’t want to give the bonus. It has made the announcement to save its face as it is being accused of corruption.” Ajit Jogi, Chhattisgarh Janata Congress chief, said, “They have always made false promises. If they really have guts then disburse bonus from 2013 to 2018 and increase the Minimum Support Price.”Sanket Thakur, convener of Chhattisgarh Kisan Majdoor Mahasagh, said the Chief Minister was trying to score a brownie point by announcing the bonus in an election year.last_img read more

Corporators under Thane police radar

first_imgThe Thane Police’s probe into extortion accused Iqbal Kaskar’s alleged links with political figures has identified at least three corporators from Thane, who are now under the police scanner. Officer said that the number is likely to increase over the next few day.Dawood’s name usedExtortion Iqbal, the younger brother of wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, was arrested late on Monday night for allegedly extorting a Thane-based builder by using Dawood’s name. Two others, Mumtaz Sheikh and Israr Ali Sayed, were also arrested for aiding Iqbal in the racket.last_img read more

Congress puts Mallikarjun Kharge in charge of Maharashtra

first_imgSlowly clearing out what many consider “dead wood”, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday appointed 75-year-old Mallikarjun Kharge as the party’s general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, replacing 68-year-old Mohan Prakash.Mr. Kharge’s appointment has come as a surprise for many in the party since he already holds two key positions. He is leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha and also the Chairman of Public Accounts Committee. His appointment has started speculation on whether Congress will be replacing him as leader of the party in Lok Sabha.A question many Congress leaders are pondering over is whether Mr. Gandhi will take the reins in his hands. “That was my first thought too. However, he [Mr. Gandhi] has not spent much time in Parliament. And Leader of House is a position where you have to be present each day, be attentive, stand and fight for the party. Will he want to immerse himself in hot water?” said a senior Congress leader.Maharashtra is an “extra-ordinarily” crucial State since it sends 48 MPs to the Lok Sabha, second only to Uttar Pradesh (80 seats).“It is a calculated step. [We needed] a person with some political heft and experience,” a State leader said. It also helps that Mr. Kharge speaks Marathi and has handled the State in the past.“I thank Sonia Gandhi ji, Rahul Gandhi ji for giving me the opportunity. I also thank people of Maharashtra and State unit for their cooperation and love,” Mr. Prakash saidlast_img read more

Citizenship Bill in focus as Budget session of Nagaland Assembly begins

first_imgThe contentious Citizenship Bill will be in focus in the budget session of the Nagaland assembly that begins from Thursday, with the State government set to adopt a resolution against the proposed legislation. Minister for Planning and Coordination, Neiba Kronu, said the Nagaland government would table a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, on February 23. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session on January 8, but could not be tabled in the Rajya Sabha, meaning it has now lapsed. The legislation proposes to accord Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India instead of 12 years, which is the norm currently, even if they do not possess any document. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who also holds the Finance portfolio, will present the full budget for the fiscal 2019-20 on February 25. The State government is also scheduled to table the supplementary demands for grants for the fiscal 2018-19 in the budget session that concludes on February 26.last_img read more

A Green Light for Antarctic Fieldwork

first_imgFor Jamie Collins, the end of the U.S. government shutdown means a chance to begin tracking breeding penguins. The oceanography graduate student is one of dozens of scientists at the U.S. Palmer Station in Antarctica who were buoyed by this morning’s announcement from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that it is “restor[ing] the planned 2013-14 austral summer U. S. Antarctic Program (USAP) activities to the maximum extent possible.”“They told us this morning they are re-starting the season,” Collins writes to ScienceInsider. “So everyone is running around setting up their labs. We’re all very excited about the re-opening, but we feel like we’ve been at the end of a very long yo-yo down here.” (See his blog for more impressions.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Collins is part of an NSF-funded team conducting a long-running ecological experiment to measure the impact of sea ice fluctuations on polar biota. But he has spent the past week cooped up on the U.S. research icebreaker Laurence M. Gould with crates of lab equipment, as well as the personal possessions needed for a 5-month stay at the station on the western Antarctic Peninsula. An NSF decision last week to put all three U.S stations into “caretaker” status prevented any of the scientists from settling into their expected routines. And Collins had been told as recently as Tuesday that he and about 40 other scientists would be returning on the Gould to Punta Arenas in Chile on Friday.Instead, Collins will soon be visiting penguin colonies on offshore islands, monitoring their return from the open ocean to mate and produce offspring. But another part of his scheduled activities—a 5-week cruise aboard the Gould this winter to collect oceanographic data—is still in limbo. “No one knows what’s happening to the cruises that have been scheduled for January 1 and onwards,” he says. “But at least field work season here is on.”last_img read more

Science’s Top 10 Breakthroughs of 2013

first_imgEvery year, the editors of Science huddle together and pick an outstanding scientific achievement as the Breakthrough of the Year. This year’s winner is CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY: harnessing the immune system to battle tumors. Scientists have thought for decades that such an approach to cancer therapy should be possible, but it has been incredibly difficult to make it work. Now, many oncologists say we have turned a corner, because two different techniques are helping a subset of patients. One involves antibodies that release a brake on T cells, giving them the power to tackle tumors. Another involves genetically modifying an individual’s T cells outside the body so that they are better able to target cancer, and then reinfusing them so they can do just that.To learn more about this year’s breakthroughs, including our nine runners–up and our areas to watch for 2014, check out Science’s full Breakthrough of the Year package.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Iranian parliament ousts reform-minded science minister

first_imgA monthslong effort to breathe new life into Iranian universities is at a crossroads after the ouster on Wednesday of the nation’s reformist science minister, Reza Faraji-Dana. “His downfall is a sad day for science in Iran,” says a scientist at the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran who asked to remain anonymous because of the uncertain political climate. “His heart was in the right place, and he was nudging universities in the right direction,” she says.Under Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, university leaders had steadily curtailed academic freedom by squelching debate on any topic deemed anathema or sensitive to the conservative establishment, purging liberal-minded administrators, and limiting the possibilities for researchers to travel or collaborate with colleagues overseas. Strengthening the higher education system has been a consistent theme of Ahmadinejad’s successor, Hassan Rouhani, who came to power in August 2013.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)With that mandate, Rouhani last October gave the science ministry to Faraji-Dana, an electrical engineer and former president of the University of Tehran who during his 9 months as minister had worked to create conditions for a freer atmosphere on Iranian campuses, both for homegrown researchers to blossom and to entice expatriate Iranian scientists to return. One of his chief accomplishments, says the Sharif researcher, was to implement a more open and transparent mechanism for appointing university chancellors based on their talent rather than their political persuasion.It was that perceived liberalization of campus life that provoked conservatives in parliament, who voted to dismiss Faraji-Dana on 20 August. According to the Tehran Times, Faraji-Dana noted in a speech to parliament before his ouster that the number of Iranian publications in “reputable” journals had risen steadily during his tenure, and he “criticized certain people for trying to give the impression that academics are against the system.”Rouhani has appointed as caretaker science minister Mohammad-Ali Najafi, a mathematician and former education minister with solid reformist credentials. If parliament votes to approve Najafi—an outcome that by no means is certain—and if Najafi were to pick up where Faraji-Dana left off, he will have at least one powerful ally in the cause: Iran’s reform-minded vice president for science and technology, mechanical engineer Sorena Sattari.last_img read more

How did the ‘Berlin patient’ rid himself of HIV?

first_imgHIV resurfaces in ‘Mississippi baby’ many presumed cured Researchers are closer to unraveling the mystery of how Timothy Ray Brown, the only human cured of HIV, defeated the virus, according to a new study. Although the work doesn’t provide a definitive answer, it rules out one possible explanation.Brown remains one of the most studied cases in the HIV epidemic’s history. In 2006, after living with the virus for 11 years and controlling his infection with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), he learned that he had developed acute myeloid leukemia. (The leukemia has no known relationship to HIV infection or treatment.) Chemotherapy failed, and the next year Brown, an American then living in Berlin, received the first of two bone marrow transplants—a common treatment for this cancer—and ditched his ARVs. When HIV-infected people stop taking ARVs, levels of HIV typically skyrocket within weeks. Yet researchers scouring Brown’s blood over the past 7 years have found only traces of the viral genetic material, none of which can replicate.Today, researchers point to three different factors that could independently or in combination have rid Brown’s body of HIV. The first is the process of conditioning, in which doctors destroyed Brown’s own immune system with chemotherapy and whole body irradiation to prepare him for his bone marrow transplant. His oncologist, Gero Hütter, who was then with the Free University of Berlin, also took an extra step that he thought might not only cure the leukemia but also help rid Brown’s body of HIV. He found a bone marrow donor who had a rare mutation in a gene that cripples a key receptor on white blood cells the virus uses to establish an infection. (For years, researchers referred to Brown as “the Berlin patient.”) The third possibility is his new immune system attacked remnants of his old one that held HIV-infected cells, a process known as graft versus host disease.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In the new study, a team led by immunologist Guido Silvestri of Emory University in Atlanta, designed an unusual monkey experiment to test these possibilities.Bone marrow transplants work because of stem cells. Modern techniques avoid actually aspirating bone marrow, and instead can sift through blood and pluck out the stem cells needed for a transplant to “engraft.” So the researchers first drew blood from three rhesus macaque monkeys, removed stem cells, and put the cells in storage. They then infected these animals and three control monkeys with a hybrid virus, known as SHIV, that contains parts of the simian and human AIDS viruses. All six animals soon began receiving ARVs (which respond better to SHIVs than SIV itself), and SHIV levels in the blood quickly dropped below the level of detection on standard tests, as expected.A few months later, the three monkeys that had stored stem cells underwent whole body irradiation to condition their bodies and then had their own stem cells reinfused. After the cells engrafted, a process that took a few more months, the researchers stopped ARVs in the three animals and in the three controls. SHIV quickly came screaming back in the three controls and two of the transplanted animals. (One of the transplanted monkeys did not have the virus rebound but its kidneys failed and the researchers euthanized it.)The team, which publishes its work online in PLOS Pathogens today, concludes that conditioning by itself likely cannot rid the body of the AIDS virus. Silvestri explains that the monkey study was a proof-of-principle experiment that cleanly isolated the effects of conditioning alone. “There’s no way to do this in humans,” he says. “It’s an important study and it’s a very useful model,” says Daniel Kuritzkes of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who wasn’t connected to the research.Kuritzkes and colleagues are particularly interested in the experiment because two of their own HIV-infected patients with leukemia received bone marrow transplants from donors who did not have HIV-resistant cells. For several months after stopping ARVs, HIV remained at bay in both men, raising hopes that the resistant donor cells were not a factor. But the virus eventually returned in each patient. Kuritzkes suspects that the transplants did reduce the amount of HIV left in the patients’ bodies—known as the viral reservoir—but the virus resurfaced because it continued to copy itself and eventually overwhelmed the immune responses against it.Although the study shows that conditioning by itself likely cannot eliminate an HIV infection, the study leaves open the possibility that graft versus host disease played a central role in Brown’s cure. Unlike Brown and Kuritzkes’s two patients, the transplanted monkeys received their own stem cells, which did not trigger a graft versus host response. “At the end of the day that might be an important component,” Silvestri says. He also thinks it might help reduce the reservoir size to treat monkeys with ARVs for longer than a few months.Silvestri hopes to do future monkey experiments that test the different variables, including transplanting the animals with viral-resistant blood cells that mimic the ones that Brown received. “The best scientific studies raise as many questions as answers,” says Steven Deeks, a researcher and clinician at the University of California, San Francisco, who has treated and studied Brown. “Unfortunately, the heroic efforts that went into this study failed to provide a definitive answer regarding the riddles of the Berlin patient. The model will likely need to be further optimized, and at the very least, the macaques treated with antiretroviral therapy for longer periods of time. But I am confident the team will figure this out.”Related content:Strategies against HIV/AIDS Cure setbacks force HIV researchers to reset sightslast_img read more

Japanese foundation joins the public health Grand Challenge bandwagon

first_imgTOKYO—A Japanese foundation will try to discover innovative approaches to neglected infectious diseases with a Grand Challenge. The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) has announced it will invest up to $1 million per candidate “for early stage development of radically new and improved drugs, vaccines or diagnostics to prevent and treat infectious diseases that are prevalent in developing countries.”The challenge is modeled on, and being coordinated with, the Grand Challenges program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports high-risk, high-payoff approaches to solving global health and development problems.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)GHIT’s challenge, however, has some unique twists. Applicants must be partnerships between Japanese and non-Japanese entities. “If you look at the portfolio of Grand Challenge [grants] right now, there’s not really much coming out of Japan; our role is to tap into the innovation capabilities here in Japan,” says GHIT Executive Director BT Slingsby. The fund also sees the challenge program as extending its current efforts, which support preclinical and clinical work on promising drugs for neglected diseases using Japanese resources and capabilities. The new Grand Challenge “is to go even further upstream” to support early-stage work on promising targets that might eventually enter GHIT’s more generously funded development pipeline.They are going to be selective, picking two, three, or four projects a year and supporting them for 2 years or so in hopes they will then be ready for the next stage in development. Slingsby says they expect to award approximately $2 million in grants each year, which he believes will be adequate for the early-stage ideas they are looking for. GHIT was set up in April 2013 and is supported by the Japanese government, six major Japanese pharmaceutical companies, and the Gates Foundation. The fund targets malaria, tuberculosis, Chagas disease, visceral leishmaniasis, and other diseases afflicting the poor in developing countries.Slingsby says their Grand Challenge program will be coordinated with the efforts of the Gates Foundation and other organizations working on neglected diseases “to make sure we are finding the most innovative stuff out there and that we’re not being repetitive.”Applications are open as of today; the first round of winners will be announced in August.last_img read more

University of Minnesota suspends psychiatric drug studies enrollment

first_imgThe University of Minnesota has halted patient enrollment in all psychiatric drug studies after a state report criticized the school’s handling of a suicide during a clinical trial in 2004. The report, released last Thursday by Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor, says the university’s reaction to both the death of 27-year-old Dan Markingson and subsequent calls for investigation have “seriously harmed” its credibility and reputation. The report also argues that the Markingson case “raises serious ethical issues and numerous conflicts of interest, which University leaders have been consistently unwilling to acknowledge.” Markingson had been enrolled in a trial for antipsychotic drugs while committed involuntarily to a university hospital. One of the trial leaders was his treating psychiatrist.The university’s president, Eric Kaler, announced that his school would suspend enrollment in current and upcoming drug studies in the Department of Psychiatry until they could be reviewed by an outside institutional review board (IRB). The school’s IRB came under fire last month after a separate review suggested the panel was not examining trials as closely as it should be.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Although the two reports are very different, their authors express at least one overlapping worry: that the school has not responded well to criticism. In the words of the auditor’s report: “A primary problem uncovered by our review is past and current University leadership that is defensive, insular, and unwilling to accept criticism about the Markingson case either from within or outside the University. However, we do not have a recommendation that would change attitudes. … We can only suggest that the Legislature make the issue—and need for change—a more important consideration in selecting people to serve on the University Board of Regents.” The report recommends that the state legislature enact new laws that would allow the legislature to more closely monitor participation in psychiatric drug studies at the university.The Board of Regents will meet this Friday to discuss the report.last_img read more

This Global Fintech Enabler Has a Strategy to Enter India’s Crowded Payment Space

first_imgWith a huge consumer market, India is possibly the favorite investment destination for foreign firms. Transition to a cashless economy has encouraged many global Fintech players to create a scalable business in India. Noticing the benefits, Bahrain based Arab Financial Services (AFS), the leading provider of electronic payments outsourcing services in the region will also synergize its efforts to make India a cashless Economy.Read it at Entrepreneur Related Itemslast_img

US Eases Technology Transfer

first_imgGeneral Electric India has become the first Indian company approved for U.S. sensitive high-technology trade.GE, which employs almost 15,000 people and has revenues of $2.8 billion in India, has been authorized as a “validated end user,” allowing it to sell advanced security systems in India.GE India President and CEO Tejpreet Chopra said, “It will not only permit technology exchange on energy and aviation between GE and our research facilities in India, but will also permit the sale of advanced security systems to the Indian Ministry of Defense, Indian police and other Indian security organizations.”Over the next five years, India is expected to spend nearly $30 billion on military hardware and services. Related Itemslast_img read more

2 Indian American Store Workers Shot in Georgia; 1 Dead

first_imgAn Indian American store owner was killed while another was critically injured in two separate shootings carried out by the same man on the night of Feb. 6 in Rome, Georgia.Parmjit Singh, 44, and Parthey Patel, 30, were shot at while they were inside two different convenience stores. Singh was pronounced dead at the Hi Tech Quick Stop on Burnett Ferry Road by the Floyd County coroner. Patel is in a critical condition.After shooting Singh, the attacker entered Elm Street Food and Beverage store, where he stole money and shot at Patel, the police said. Patel was taken to Floyd Medical Center where he is recovering from his injuries.“He’s talking. He’s doing everything fine. He says, ‘Yes, I”m out of the pains,’ and the doctor takes care of it. Thank God for that,” Patel’s boss, Bipin Patel said, according to WSBTV.The police has taken into custody a suspect, Lamar Rashad Nicholson, 28, on multiple charges, including murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm while committing a crime and use of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is being held without bond at the Floyd County jail.The CCTV camera footage shows that the suspect entered Hi Tech Quick Stop and shot Singh three times. The suspect did not try to rob the store. The police is investigating the motive of the killing.“He didn’t take anything. He didn’t take any money. He didn’t take any articles from the store. He just simply came in and fired off three rounds at the clerk and killed him,” Floyd County police Sgt. William Wacker said, according to WSBTV.“I still feel like it’s a dream. I can’t tell, like, just trying to pinch myself and I say, ‘Maybe it’s a dream,’ but it’s not,” said the victim’s brother, Serabjeet Singh. He said that Singh came to the area some eight years ago.Local people placed flowers and candles in Singh’s remembrance.  Related ItemsGeorgiaIndian AmericanUnited Stateslast_img read more

Indian Man Gets 33 Months in Jail for Smuggling Drugs to U.S.

first_imgA resident of Mumbai was sentenced to two years and nine months of imprisonment by Pittsburgh district court for shipping misbranded prescription drugs from India for distribution in the United States to American consumers, PTI reported.Ramesh Buchirajam Akkela aka Ramesh Bhai, who was detained in Panama in 2015 and was extradited to the United States on March 15 this year, was sentenced to 33-month jail term on March 16 after he was found guilty of mail fraud and money laundering. The sentencing was given by senior judge Donetta W Ambrose.As per court records, Akkela had a website that offered prescription drugs to American consumers without the necessary prescription. He used to ship the misbranded drugs from India to people in the United States who would distribute them to consumers.Assistant United States Attorney Shardul S Desai was the prosecution for the case,and represented the government.Akkela was indicted on two counts of money laundering, 10 counts of mail fraud conspiracy to misbrand and smuggle drugs and conspiracy to import Schedule IV controlled substances.Akkela’s brother had sought the help of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to secure his brother’s release when he was held in Panama in 2015. He had tweeted: “I am Ramesh’s Brother. I am seeking help from Hon. MEA, GoI to secure release of Indian National Mr Ramesh Akkela illegally detained in Panama since 15.7.2015.”Akkela’s wife Sarika Ramesh Akkela wrote about the entire ordeal on her blog in November 2015 in which she said that her husband had “all the necessary licenses to export the drugs and undertook all his business activities as per the Indian law without violating any of its provisions.” She also wrote that his firms were duly checked and verified by all the Indian authorities involved in the process of export.She further wrote: “U.S authorities want the extradition of Ramesh Akkela on various counts, yet none of the count hold the ground since he was lawfully performing the business in India as per law of the land. Law and reasoning both state that. Ramesh Akkela, being national and resident of India has to perform his business activities as per Indian Law, which he has done.”While Sarika’s application seeking the Ministry of External Affairs’s involvement was acknowledged, it’s not clear if an intervention was made on their behalf.Application for #Justice4Ramesh submitted by Smt. Sarika Akkela has been duly acknowledged by @MEAIndia on 18 Nov. pic.twitter.com/zKg4DocI2L— Justice 4 Ramesh (@justice4ramesh) December 2, 2015 Related ItemshealthMedicinePittsburgh Courtlast_img read more

BJP leader’s remark on triple talaq victims sparks row in Odisha House

first_imgThe Odisha Assembly witnessed pandemonium on Thursday after Bishnu Charan Sethi, deputy leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, stoked a controversy when he said that triple talaq victims were being forced into prostitution.The BJP MLA was replying to the Congress members who had on Wednesday criticised the BJP-led government at the Centre for pushing through the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in Parliament.Mr. Sethi claimed that some political parties had been opposing the Bill with an eye on minority votes. Those opposing it should keep in mind that the legislation was passed to protect the interests of women, he said, while adding that he had only quoted findings of some survey reports.“What is wrong in quoting survey reports in the House? I have not made any adverse remark against any community, but quoted survey reports that say Muslim women dominate the red light areas in Mumbai and Kolkata,” Mr. Sethi saidThe practice of “triple talaq” was abolished in 38 countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh, the BJP leader maintained.“The Bill has nothing to do with religion and is aimed at eradicating a social evil. Now, one cannot divorce his wife just by uttering ‘talaq-talaq-talaq’ in an inebriated state or via a mobile phone message,” he addedBJD protestsMr. Sethi’s statement soon evoked strong opposition from members of both opposition Congress and ruling BJD members. The Congress MLAs rushed to the well of the House to disrupt the proceedings, while some BJD members protested by standing on their seats.Senior Congress MLA Narasingha Mishra countered Mr. Sethi by saying that the BJP leader should not make statements against a particular community that would incite communal tension.Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro had to adjourn the proceedings after he failed to restore normalcy in the House. Similar scenes were created by Congress MLAs in the post-lunch session, forcing adjournments. The Speaker had to adjourn the House five times and finally for the day after transacting some normal business amid uproarious scenes.Meanwhile, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik demanded that Mr. Sethi apologise for making derogatory statements about Muslim women. The party will protest if Mr. Sethi did not apologise, Mr. Patnaik said at a press conference. (With PTI inputs)last_img read more